The notion of getting a corneal transplant can be a scary one. After all, our eyes are some of the most important organs in our body! Any surgery comes with risks, and a corneal transplant is no exception. There are situations where getting a corneal transplant may become necessary. Keep reading to learn 5 ways to know if you need a corneal transplant!
1. Contact lenses or glasses no longer restore your functional vision
Contacts and glasses are great options when it comes to vision correction. For most people, glasses and contacts are available. This is the case even if they have a strong prescription.
Although rare, it is possible that your prescription becomes too strong. This means that contacts or glasses are no longer able to restore your functional vision. If this happens, your eye doctor may bring up a corneal transplant. Corneal transplants come from a donor and improve the function of the cornea. They can also improve vision that was beyond correction before the procedure.
2. You suffer from advanced keratoconus
If you have keratoconus, you already know that it progresses over time. Advanced keratoconus means that your cornea is extremely irregular in shape. Over time, nearsightedness in patients gets worse and astigmatism develops. With this comes blurred vision, light sensitivity and distorted vision.
For some patients with advanced keratoconus, they can’t tolerate rigid contact lenses. In this case, a corneal transplant becomes a viable option. As the cornea becomes misshapen, glasses and contacts may no longer provide vision correction. This is another scenario where your eye doctor may recommend a corneal transplant.
3. Your cornea has become scarred due to eye infections
If you have had many eye infections like fungal keratitis or herpes, your cornea can scar. When the cornea gets scarred, it doesn’t behave the way you might expect it to.
When recovering from eye infections, the scarring involves all layers of the cornea. The cornea is made up of several different layers. When the cornea gets scarred, all layers of the cornea need replacing. In this instance, you would receive a full-thickness transplant. This is a Penetrating Keratoplasty or PKP.
4. A severe eye injury
If you’ve injured your eye, then you know that the recovery process can be long. If you have a severe enough eye injury, you may be a candidate for a corneal transplant.
This is most likely if your cornea has become scarred, swollen or misshapen due to injury. With a severe injury, you may not be able to get your full vision back without a corneal transplant.
5. Corneal failure from cataract surgery complications
This is rare, but you could experience corneal failure from cataract surgery complications. During cataract surgery, the cloudy lens gets removed from the eye and replaced with an IOL. This IOL takes on the job of the natural lens.
It’s important to keep an eye out for corneal swelling or pain after cataract surgery. If left untreated, vision loss could be devastating. It could eventually require you get a corneal transplant. If something doesn’t seem right after cataract surgery, let your eye doctor know!
If you have more questions about corneal transplants, contact Colorado Eye Consultants for an appointment today!